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Submitted by Sarah Murphy on Sun, 03/10/2013 - 5:54pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- For the first time in over a decade the North Carolina Governor’s Conference on Tourism is meeting in Wilmington.

"All of us tourism folks in North Carolina come together and share ideas and talk about what's worked and what hasn't worked," said Ed Phillips, Director of Tourism in Burke County.

Tourism in North Carolina is a 19 billion dollar industry. To maintain these figures, 500 of the state's tourism leaders are coming together over the next three days to improve tourism across the state.

"The benefit for us is that it puts the entire industry together and we can talk about different programs and work on our new marketing program," says Wit Tuttell Director of Tourism Marketing.

Experts say North Carolina is already one of the most visited states in the country; some attribute that to its scenic beauty. "Open spaces, it's green, everybody comments on that. Friendly people great food, lots of historic, scenic natural attractions," says Ed Phillips. But even with all its natural beauty, technology is changing the way people choose where to vacation

"Everyone's is communicating through social media while they are planning their travel. So what we are trying to get people to do is to make sure we get into that communication with them," said Washington Tourism Director Lynn Lewis.

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